call to arms from Old Mudgie - or at least a reminder what the Campaign for Real Ale was set up to do:
CAMRA is not, and never has been, a generalised campaign for All Good Beer. If some of its members have at times given that impression, they have been wrong. It is a campaign to preserve and champion a unique British brewing and cultural institution. The clue is in the name, and it does what it says on the tin. There are plenty of great non-“real” beers out there, and CAMRA members should feel no shame in enjoying and celebrating them. But they don’t need campaigning for. Real ale does.
And he's right - real ale is the uniquely British product, something that Asterix can take the piss out of, that is central to our pub culture, and is at its best one of the world's greatest drinking experiences.
According to Grandad we have to ban obesity - 'tis the only way to solve the problem (given that studies have shown it's nothing to do with calories or exercise):
And because there is now a cure, they can start pushing for obesity to be made illegal. It will start with public transport and move on to pubs and offices but it's all for our own good. Soon fatties won't be able to even visit public open spaces because as we all know, blubber is now denormalised and we have to protect the cheeeldren from even the sight of a pot belly or a huge arse.
So it goes with science, hardly a day passes without what we thought was true not quite really being true at all. Unless it's climate science of course - as James reports:
Three professors co-teaching an online course called “Medical Humanities in the Digital Age” at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs recently told their students via email that man-made climate change is not open for debate, and those who think otherwise have no place in their course.
I gather the students weren't even allowed to share sceptical thoughts in an online forum - any questioning of that 'settled science' and bang - off the course.
Meanwhile Julia exposes the inconsistency of cops and councils by spoofing that they're banning the Notting Hill Carnival:
The Metropolitan police had asked the council to shut down the famous August Bank Holiday festival after the huge crime rate and the stabbings.
Of course, the closure isn't the carnival (454 arrests, five stabbings, 100 assaults on police officers) but the Fabric nightclub (no arrests, no stabbings, two drug deaths).
On a broader note, Bill Stickers talks about his family and, in doing so comes up with this telling paragraph:
As well as all the “But you can’t say that!” voices crying out that we should not talk about certain issues, or even allude to said facts existence, there’s a ‘health’ lobby out there determined that we will all end our days restricted to ‘care’ homes, dribbling out our dotage, and subject to naught but pity as the Alzheimers inexorably robs us of our marbles, bowel and bladder control.
Living well is more important than living long, which isn't an argument for dissoluteness but rather an encouragement to enjoy the time we've got - we only get one go at it after all!
So driving round France in a camper van makes sense even when trying to get a petrol tank welded means meeting the health and safety rules:
We learn that welding metal petrol tanks is a slow undertaking: at least in France, you have to have a special approval as a welder, and rules require that the tank be washed thoroughly before any work can start, a process that takes a fortnight. And today we are told that no welder here or in the surrounding towns is prepared to take on the job.
I get the cleaning bit (welding and petrol don't mix well) but no-one?
Finally James shares why we die and want medical research we fund. There's a bit of a mismatch with about half the research we fund through donations going on breast cancer.